Talking, or writing, about endings is hard—whether it’s the end of a marriage, the end of a life, or the end of a book (lest one spoil the conclusion). Life rarely offers sudden and definitive endings or epiphanic conclusions. Rather, events leading up to the end seem to be
When I read this passage at fifteen years old, I was furious. I thought this ending, which centered the boys’ narrative over the girls’, undermined everything that came before. I felt dissatisfied, like I had been cheated out of a proper ending. But that frustration was ultimately very productive.
As I closed in on the first draft of a novel, I wrote toward an ending I’d held in my mind for months. It was a quiet climax in keeping with the, ahem, literary nature of my novel. I knew that when I finished the draft, I’d have to
I suck at endings. But that’s something a lot of people say, isn’t it? As if everyone else is really good at quitting a job or relationship or saying goodbye or ending a story. (I’ve never met anyone who claims special talent at this. Ever.) So much rides on
When I was six years old, I copied out the entirety of Roald Dahl’s The Twits. By hand. When I filled one lined page, I’d apply an inch-wide swath of rubber cement and attach the next paper to the bottom, so that I wound up with a scroll